Today, the Minister of Local Self-Government, Goran Milevski, today actively participated online in the second Balkan Forum in Thessaloniki together with the Vice President of the European Commission, Shinas, as well as the Ministers from Greece, Georgiadis, Minister of Development and Investment, Theodoricakos, Minister of Interior, Pierakakis, Minister of Digital Management, as well as Ministers from Albania, Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia.

- I welcome the initiative of the Greek Government and the support of the European Commission, for networking of all relevant entities in the region. This Forum is a great opportunity to discuss topics that are key to the development of the entire region. First of all, from the aspect of our European perspectives. Cooperation, exchange of knowledge and experience and mutual support are the best way to increase the competitive advantages of this region and its full integration into the European Union, said Milevski.

He clarified that the country continues to work dedicatedly on building bridges of cooperation and development of the region, according to European rules, with mutual respect and resolving problems through dialogue and cooperation.

- With a sincere commitment to European values ​​and by creating conditions for more dynamic development of the region, we will create better living conditions for our citizens. The European area
means freedom of movement, mobility and competitiveness, sharing of knowledge and experience as well as support for overcoming development differences between countries and regions. Thanks to the EU support through the IPA Territorial Cooperation Program, North Macedonia has been cooperating successfully with its neighbors for more than a decade and is implementing joint projects, Milevski said. Deputy Minister for Interior affairs Theodoros Karaoglu has expressed gratitude for Milevski's participation in the Forum and stressed that Greece would support the country to become a member of the European Union.

- I would like to emphasize that with the neighboring country Republic of North Macedonia together we are members of NATO, we are allies and we hope to become partners soon, with that the Northern Macedonia, Serbia and Albania also will become members of the large family of the European Union. We want that, and we have declared that Greece will support the efforts made by these three countries to become part of the large family of the European Union. Of course, as you said, we have many common programs, such as cross-border cooperation programs, we also have cooperation between the two countries at the municipal level, university level, and many other types of cooperation in which things are going very well, said Karaoglu. The topic of this forum are innovations in the business sector as a key prerequisite for economic development. In that context, the role of the public sector is extremely important.

- We need innovations in the management with public affairs, innovations in the cooperation between the public and business sector, innovations in the public sector to create a positive Environment for the business sector. I hope that the participants from the six countries today and tomorrow will share their experiences and ideas in the best possible way, he said.

The Ministry of Local Self-Government is authorized for the implementation of the Cross-Border Cooperation Program, especially with Albania, for which we are a leader country, and with the other
neighboring partners. In the current programming period, about 120 projects. that means that have been implemented together with the neighboring countries. This means networking institutions,
organizations, municipalities, jointly identifying challenges and solving them. The result is increased mobility, shared and accumulated knowledge, building shared values ​​and developing an awareness that together we can do so much more